Collection Development Policy



General Principles


This collection development policy is intended to define how the Library’s collections should be shaped in order to support the mission, goals and objectives of the Library.


Mission and Goals


It is the philosophy of the Kent Memorial Library to serve “the community by providing learning resources and information services that support and improve individual, family, and community life.”  (KML Mission and Philosophy Statement)  It is with these aims in mind that the materials selection policy statement is directed toward the development and maintenance of a well-balanced collection of available materials. 


The Library subscribes to the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read statement.


Our goals in support of our mission are:


  1. Patrons will have access to accurate and timely information to meet their educational and informational needs;
  2. Patrons will have access to materials and activities to provide satisfying recreational experiences; and
  3. The Library will outreach to underserved populations to assure their access to the full range of library services.


Responsibility for selection


Responsibility for materials selection rests with the Library Director.  The staff will make selections for materials based on staff reviews, reviews in reputable journals, and recommendations from individuals and groups.


The following criteria will be considered in the selection process:


  • Reviews in journals (e.g. Kirkus, Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, etc.)
  • The reputation and significance of the author or illustrator
  • Accuracy and authoritativeness
  • Literary style
  • Relevance to present or anticipated needs and interests of the community
  • Need for multiple copies of material in high demand
  • Readers’ requests
  • Permanent value as resource materials
  • New areas of knowledge or changing conditions of the contemporary scene
  • Relation to existing material in library collection
  • Accessibility in other collections in the area
  • Suitability of format for library use
  • Price and availability of funds
  • Local interest
  • Quality of book construction – strength of binding and quality of paper
  • Replacement needs


The Library shall not acquire any material that appeals solely to the prurient interest.


Multiple copies of a title will be purchased in print format as resources allow to satisfy demands.  Additional copies of non-print items may be purchased as the discretion of the staff.


Types of Material Purchased:


Print formats


Books: Hardcover, paperbacks, large print and board books are acquired based on subject, need and popularity.  Textbooks are not purchased for the collection. 


Periodicals: Representative periodicals are provided in a variety of subject fields.  Periodicals that are useful in reference and indexed in the Reader’s Guide and Infotrac guides or bibliographies may be selected for purchase.


Newspapers: We buy some local and regional newspapers.  Others will be considered as resources allow.


Pamphlets: Selected with emphasis on current, ephemeral subject areas.


Maps and Atlases: Provided to supplement reference sources.


Material for the Historical Room: Pamphlets, clippings, images, ephemera and monographs of significant historical importance for the Town of Suffield and neighboring town of Hartford County will be considered.


Audiovisual Formats




Compact Discs (music)

CD-ROMs (educational and entertainment)

DVDs (non-fiction and feature films)

The Library will cease collecting material on Video Tape and Microforms except in extraordinary circumstances where the material is vital to the collection and is available in no other format.


Online services


Some print resources are now available online, which provides for easier searching and saves space (e.g. Hartford Courant Index)




Realia: Non-informational items, such as a magnifying glass, and awkwardly shaped print materials (e.g. the eyeball book)

Equipment: VCR, tape recorder, DVD player

Museum passes



Specific Guidelines for individual departments


Selection in adult:

The Library will select Adult materials for core constituencies comprised of the General Public (with its varied interests and needs), Consumers, Senior Citizens, New Readers/New Citizens (including Foreign Language material), and the Business community based on selection criteria outlined above.  This material will consist of reference, general non-fiction, general fiction, and bestsellers, and will be chosen from both print and non-print media.


Selection in Young Adult:

Young Adults are served with a separate collection organized in the Young Adult area.  Materials are chosen with an understanding that adolescence covers a wide range of ages, reading skills, and development levels.  The collection is designed to encourage browsing and includes periodicals and paperbacks, as well as books on topics of interest to young people.  Videos, CD-ROMs and CDs are also purchased with teen interests in mind but are shelved with the adult collection.  Primarily grades seven to twelve are served, but there should be some overlap in materials with grades five and six for the youth that are ready to move out of the children’s room.


Selection in children’s:

Children’s selection policies are geared to create a collection that satisfies the informational, recreational, and cultural needs and encourages realization of the full potential of children from infancy through grade six.


To achieve this objective, a varied selection of material, including books, books-on-tape/CD, videos, DVDs, CD-ROMs, CDs, periodicals, and realia are made available for and accessible to children.


Children are recognized as having a right to read.  Children have complete and easy access to all materials within the entire library, including the adult department.  Children have full rights to make use of interlibrary loan and to reserve library materials.


Parents are responsible for what their child selects for reading and viewing material.  It is a parent’s duty to monitor their child’s use of the library and its collections.


A Patron has the right to question the inclusion of an material in the collection.  If anyone has any concerns about a particular item in the collection, the form below should be filled out and submitted to the Library Director.


Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials



Author (if appropriate)_____________________________________________________


Request initiated by________________________________________________________







Please answer the following questions:


To what in the item do you object? (Please be specific)____________________________




Did you read or view the entire item?__________________________________________


If not, which portion did you read or view?_____________________________________





Please return this form to James McShane, Director, Kent Memorial Library, 50 North Main St., Suffield, CT  06095 (860) 668-3896; fax (860) 668-3895

Rev. 2/05